Thursday, May 28, 2009

Saliva? Not the problem here.

We'll get to the title in a second.

First off, I've been MIA for several days for no good reason, really. I suppose I just didn't have anything to say. Quick rundown of the past week:

1. Memorial Day was spent with Jeremy mostly reading and looking around town for a canopy for the upcoming art show (June 13th--Art By Jay will be selling--Ogden, UT Arts Festival). Wal-Mart is a godsend. Same tent as the sporting goods stores, only $50 cheaper. And close-out walls for $29.

2. A negligent and inept 24 Hour Fitness employee put my new debit card number onto someone else's account so I've been paying HER dues for the last two months while they couldn't get my last month of dues (because I canceled in March) from my account because that card number no longer existed because it had "potentially been compromised" (said my bank). No one at 24 Hour Fitness corporate offices speaks English or understands it--an unnatural hatred for that gym has taken root in me. Finally got it fixed locally. Though I'm watching my bank statement next month like a hawk come the 26th of the month. This will have been the fourth time in four years that they messed up my billing. Hence my cancellation of my membership.

3. My filling chipped in the middle of The Terminator on Friday night (which was boring). Lame. So I had to use that DentTemp stuff from Wal-Greens all weekend (though really, that stuff is AMAZING--it's like a temporary filling or crown glue). I kept eating it with my meals though and I'd have to start all over again. Dentist said I probably needed a crown. I said, "Hey, you did this two months ago, if it needs one now, it needed one then. NO." So he just filled it. I'll worry about it in a year. We're not going back to that dentist anyway because he makes me cry. We're going to Jeremy's old dentist who he says is nice. Direct quote from dentist that makes me cry: "If you wouldn't let saliva pool at the bottom of your lip and sit there, you wouldn't get cavities." EXCUSE ME?! How long does he think I sit around with a drool-filled lip? And who doesn't have the natural reflex to swallow excess saliva? So not the problem here. Lame genes are the problem here. All the brushing and flossing in the world doesn't get my anywhere. And I use the stupid toothpaste you tell me to, Mr. Dentist, and it's. not. helping.

4. My 3 year anniversary is this weekend. Yay! Still have no big plans. That's okay though.

5. Umm....that's it. Oh! Only TWO chapters left to go in the book I'm writing at work. The celebration of this being done might be worth taking up drinking for.

Now. I've listed a new custom listing on my Etsy shop for any color you want for the Pure Color: Mix and Match series.

Colors in the picture are just some samples of ones that I've already done. So if you want a color that isn't pre-painted and currently for sale, now there's an easy way to order it! Just buy that listing, follow the instructions in the listing for the "Notes to Seller," and then I'll paint it for you! Want one in hot pink? You got it. Want a purely black and white one? No problem! (Thinking I'll do one of those tonight, actually. I think it'd be cool!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

First ACEO sale for Art By Jay! And a Memorial Day Sale!

My grandpa sold his first ACEO print today! I'm ridiculously excited! It's been a good month on Etsy!

The original of this painting has already been sold, but the ACEO will still be available (no larger prints, though). ACEOs at Art By Jay on Etsy are all only $7!

Buying ACEOs are a great way to become an art collector, and since they're the size of a trading card they can be kept in a binder together, or they can be framed museum style with a large mat around them!

Trust me, you need some ACEOs in your life!

And don't forget, my shop, ArtsAfire, is having a Memorial Day sale this weekend! 10% off of everything in the store, plus an extra discount code for Facebook fans! So, are you a fan?? Click here if you want to be!

And definitely don't forget to visit my Grandpa's Facebook page! Special discounts and giveaways will be available for fans there, too!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Custom Paintings and a Memorial Day (Shh!) Secret Sale

I just finished my custom paintings last night and delivered them today. Whew. The custom tree painting was much more work than I thought it was going to be (she asked for a sunset sky with blues, purples, reds, and oranges) and so I ended up completely undercharging for it because I thought I could charge the same as I charged for "Spring Branch" painting and it wouldn't take any longer. It was exactly the same size, same configuration, just a different sky. BUT a much more labor intensive process. But you live and you learn!

Here's the finished product!

I also sold a custom color of the Pure Color Mix & Match series. She had previously purchased purple, red, and green and wanted a teal/turquoise one. So I sold her one similar to the one I currently have for sale for the general public.

It's much more "teal" in person. Gotta work on capturing that color better. Some just don't like to cooperate with the camera or with Photoshop.

Also, there will be a secret sale for my Facebook fans over Memorial Day Weekend. So if you haven't headed over there yet, now is a great time to do it. Sale code will be announced tomorrow on Facebook!

Click Here

Also, please check out this gorgeous "sand & sea" themed treasury that I am in!

Next up for me, I'm trying out Encaustic painting (painting with colored beeswax)! I just received my "Hot Mess" Encaustic tutorial and sample paints from Jamie Ribisi and I can't wait to try it out! I just need to buy an electric griddle, some tuna (for the cans so I can melt the paint in them on the griddle, not for painting with because otherwise that'd be one fishy smelling painting), some natural bristle brushes, and a heat gun! I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Now for sale!

I have some of the new Mix & Match sets available for purchase in my Etsy shop!

More coming later!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New paintings! Available tonight!

Here's a sneak peak at what will be available tonight in my Etsy shop!

New Mix & Match sets (four 4" x 4" x 1 3/8" paintings)! And I've realized I'm undercharging so the price will be going up this week. They're currently $25, so if you want them at that price, there are still a few sets available in my shop! There are still two shades of blue and an orange set available in my shop. Coming tonight: teal, yellow, orange, jewel green, purple, and red! As well as a listing for a custom color, so you can order exactly the colors that you want! Please provide either a real color swatch--I'll give you my address when you order--or a virtual swatch if you want a custom color. Though please be aware of screen discrepancies. I calibrate my colors regularly, but colors may still differ on my screen from yours if we do not use the same calibration techniques. It will still be close, though. :)

And I know I've been promising these forever but I really am almost done with mini painting greeting "cards," so those will be available by the end of the week. Why give a Hallmark card that will eventually be thrown away when you can give a painting that will last forever? For roughly the same price!

Also, don't forget to visit me and my grandfather on Facebook! Facebook fans receive special promotions and giveaways!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Anniversary Ideas: Help?

So, our three year anniversary is coming up and I'm trying to think of things we could do. We were thinking we'd get couples massages at Aveda, but I'm not feeling that right now. So Jeremy put me in charge of coming up with something to do since he said the present he is buying me is actually good for both of us and should be our main present and then we'd each get a little spending money while we're out and about. He got me the letterpress print of the SLC temple (by Cameron Moll) where we were married--so much cooler than a photograph and so much more "us" than a photograph.

Back to anniversary ideas. We've done the romantic getaway things before and really they're never as fun as we'd like them to be (we're Disneyland people, not "admire a pretty themed hotel room" people). So we're not staying anywhere fancy or anything, but we definitely want to do some fun. I was thinking about going to Color Me Mine and painting some plates or other ceramic things. But other than that, I'm drawing a complete blank on what to do this year!

So I need your help. What have you done for past anniversaries with husbands/boyfriends that was fun?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cupcakes! And Other Fun Friday Things.

The other day I read about The Sweet Tooth Fairy on NieNie's blog. And the cupcakes looked amazing. In the pursuit of free KFC that night we ended up in that part of Provo and when I saw the KFC line I decided that cupcakes for dinner would be a better option. So I told Jeremy that I was pretty sure the awesome cupcake place was across the street. And it was! I have cupcake radar.

I've always said that cupcakes are not as fun and fantastic as the name implies. And up until Wednesday night, they hadn't been. They were always crumbly or too dry and the frosting is never as good as it is on a regular cake (even though it's the same frosting). But now, cupcakes are all I can think about!

Peanut Butter Chocolate cupcakes--AMAZING!

Va-NIE-lla Squared cupcakes--they named them for NieNie after she had one and said on her blog that they should name them that since she was single-handedly going to keep those cupcakes going

Nie now has a partner. Those cupcakes were love at first bite. I've never tasted such amazing frosting and such moist cake. It was like fireworks and drunkenness and orchestra AND mardi-gras music in my mouth--all at the same time.

So, if you live anywhere near Utah, it's worth the trip.

Booked our 5 day Disneyland vacation! Woohoo! We're going over Labor Day (and past Labor Day when Jeremy should be in school but is skipping because other people will be in school and hopefully Disneyland won't be too busy--but if it is, that's okay) and we're staying IN DISNEYLAND!! YES! Paradise Pier Hotel (so, technically, in California Adventure, but hey, all the hotels are accessed from Downtown Disney (a.k.a. Heaven) so it's all the same to me. I cannot wait. And the new goal is to lose 30 lbs by the time we leave. The journey starts tomorrow. Glad I made a calendar to keep track of my exercise progress.

This will be the third time we've gone to Disneyland in as many years of marriage. We're definitely setting up a good precedent here. Each time we've gone to Disneyland I have come home and cut my hair off. Hopefully by the time we go my hair will be long again and I won't cut it when I get back. Don't let me cut it.

Also, if you're on Facebook, both my grandfather and I have fan pages! Just started his yesterday! Please visit and become a fan to receive exclusive updates, secret sales, and giveaways for Facebook fans!

Also, I have a new Flickr photostream and will be starting one for ArtByJay this weekend. I really don't know what's going on over there, so any advice would be greatly appreciated. It appears that friends can be added at Flickr. If you're on there, add me please!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Calendars and Pretty Things

Going along with my post yesterday regarding goals, I figured I needed a calendar system that would help me easily keep track of how I was going. And I wanted everything on one calendar (minus dinner, because that goes on the fridge and I want the goals calendar in my studio). So I just made a quick little calendar in Microsoft Word. I'll probably buy one of those purchase and print calendars that Etsy sellers sell at some point for the added cuteness, but for right now this is working just fine. I have six goals each day. That might sound like a lot, but they're relatively small goals. Morning Yoga (20-30 minutes), 1 hour of painting, evening exercise (racquetball with Jeremy, weight lifting, P90X, etc...), make dinner, pick up what needs picking up in the house, spend time with Jeremy. Then at the bottom I have the monthly goals for May that don't necessarily need to be done daily.

If you need a quick little calendar for these purposes, feel free to steal mine. Here they are:

May 2009 Dinner Calendar

May 2009 Goals Calender

And here are my recipes again. Lots have changed. Simplified to require the least amount of prep time possible. And some have been added.

Sara's Monthly Recipes

Now, onto the pretty things!

My friend Amanda did a Mother's Day Gift Guide on her shop's blog today and she showcased this bag:

the artist satchel, marigold

I HAVE to have that bag! And it comes in different colors, like a gorgeous leaf or pomegranate color! And they tailor the straps to fit you and the inside to fit your tools. I wouldn't really carry my paintbrushes around in it, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't use it until it was completely useless. My husband has been bugging me to get a "good purse" rather than something for $19.95 at TJ Maxx. I'm going to give this link to him. Our anniversary is coming up.

And how great would these earrings look with that bag:

Gold and Green Crystal Earrings from GlamKate

GlamKate is a blog friend of mine and I absolutely 100% love her style. So of course when she opened her Etsy shop I found myself loving everything in it. Especially these earrings. Love them. Can't stop thinking about them. Will be buying them this weekend (so please don't buy them out from under me).

And lastly, I don't know why this dress from Anthropologie is nearly $400 (besides being silk), but I find myself willing.

First Days Dress from Anthropologie

Especially with that bag and those earrings!

I'm wondering if I should take up sewing just to learn how to make a dress that pretty.

And last, a bit of news. I'll be finishing up some mini paintings tonight that will act as greeting cards! Yay! Great alternative to Hallmark (and seriously, Hallmark is expensive and gets thrown out--paintings last forever and will be pretty much the same price).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Goals for May

In the post below I recapped my April goals. Didn't hit all of them, but I did a pretty awesome job. Despite this, I still have some areas I need to work on. So, here we go again!

1. Stock Artfire shop with at least 15 items (I think I really should do this, despite my lack of enthusiasm for Artfire--even if I just stock it with my cheaper items)
2. 50 items in Etsy shop by end of May - 27 in shop right now
3. Print business cards
5. Spend at least 1 hour painting each night (make a calendar to mark off progress--I will post the calendar at recap time)
6. Sell 10 paintings this month
7. Finish 3 large paintings/painting sets
8. Finish 5 small paintings/painting sets
9. Try new things
10. Give Encaustic painting a whirl (which means, buy tutorial set from Jamie Ribisi)

Personal Goals:
1. WAKE UP!!! and do yoga (I canceled my gym membership, I'm totally preferring P90X--such a great workout--can't slack like I can on an elliptical machine while reading a trashy novel)
2. Lose 10 lbs.
3. Keep the house clean
4. Stick to the meal plan
5. Limit video games to 1-2 hours per night and ONLY after I've finished painting

Friday, May 1, 2009

April Goals Recap: Much Better Than Last Month

Last month I recapped my March goals. Didn't hit all of them. It wasn't quite an epic fail, but it was close.

This month, however, I have done better. My April goals are much less fail and much more succeed. Score one for me!

1. Stock Artfire shop with at least 15 items - Nope. Just can't get into Artfire...
2. 50 items in Etsy shop by end of April (23 in shop now) - I almost made it! I made it to 34!
3. Print business cards - Completely forgot about that one...
5. Spend at least 1 hour painting each night (minus weekends) (I'm making a calendar for this so I can keep track) - Crossed half off because I succeeded half of the time
6. Sell 10 paintings this month - Cue "shoot" and a finger-snapped motion because I was so close! I sold 7! All this week!
7. Finish 3 large paintings/painting sets - Crossed half off because I finished 2! Then ran out of canvases. They're on their way.
8. Finish 5 small paintings/painting sets - BOOM! I am awesome!
9. Try new things - Check! Check! And Sold! Sold! Sold!
10. Get my studio organized once and for all - I am on fire!

Personal Goals:
1. WAKE UP!!! and go to the gym - no more "But it's too cold" excuses - Ha! Not once. And it's not even cold.
2. Lose 10 lbs. - I'm afraid of the I don't know.
3. Keep the house clean - It's been clean for an entire month now.
4. Stick to the meal plan - Didn't do so hot this month...not sure why. Start up again tomorrow.
5. Watch less TV - I have been foregoing television (except Gossip Girl and The Office) in favor of painting and playing Viva Pinata on the X-Box. Yes, filling the TV spot with video games is less productive than say, not playing video games, but hey, I'm working on it.

All in all, I'm pleased. May goals to come on Monday.


I went to the Aldo Shoes website because I'm going to Anthropologie and there's an Aldo next door and their shoes are always comfortable and cute so I figured I'd get a feel for what they had to go with whatever dress or two I decide to buy this weekend.

I clicked on "fashion flats" after visiting the wedge and strappy heels page.

And what I saw the the single worst (and largest) page of the worst. shoes. ever.

There were probably about 100 pairs of shoes on this page, each worse than the last.

First off, if these are fashionable, then I'm fine with being a fashion pariah. Second, can you imagine these shoes with the dresses that I have in the post below?

The gladiator look has got to go!

So, I retreated back to (because it's safe there) and looked at their shoes. All is well with the world (for the most part).